March 17, 2009

Obama names football owner Ireland Ambassador

Per Reuters, U.S. President Barack Obama has named Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney Ambassador to Ireland.

Rooney's Steelers won the Super Bowl this past season.

Obama and Rooney developed a relationship during the 2008 presidential campaign. The long time Steelers owner endorsed Obama during a Pennsylvania campaign stop in April of that year.

Europeans and Pennsylvanians are tweeting about the football guy moving to the other land of football.

@SeamusMcAleavey (Belfast): President Barak Obama has announced that Dan Rooney is the new ambassador to Ireland. His roots are in Newry Co Down!

@GWhit (England): Dan Rooney to be Ambassador to Ireland. Maybe he'll convert rugby players to linebacker.

@PADems (Harrisburg, PA): PA Dems congratulate Dan Rooney on being named Ambassador to Ireland. A fitting role for a good Irish Democrat! Go maire tu!

@steelymcbeam (Pittsburgh, PA): Congrats to my boss, Dan Rooney!!! New Ireland ambassador!! Bet he installs NFL Sunday Ticket at the embassy!


Maldives government blocks anti-Islamic Web sites

Per the Haveeru Daily in Maldives, a small island nation outside of India that is predominantly Muslim, the nation's Telecommunication Authority has blocked several Web sites that are anti-Islam in the last week.

The censorship move has caused an uproar among Maldives citizens that has appeared in blogs, editorials, and even on Twitter.

Here are some tweets from outraged Maldives Twitter users, aimed at Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr. Abdul Majeed Abdul Baree (DJ Majeed) and the MoIA (Maldives office of Islamic Affairs):

@bakhabaru (Maldives): DJ Majeed to block website called www.majeed's.[expletive].com

@sofwath (Male, Maldives): You have not converted a man because you have silenced him

@gaanagaa (Maldives): is the first site ever to get unblocked after the DJ Majeed's blockade. The block list gets bigger every day.

@moyameehaa (Maldives): iBlog. In protest of the Internet censorship campaign started by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs of Maldives. #djmajeed

@mvblogs (Maldives): The 'War' on Free Speech...: I have proscribed myself not to write anything on any political issue. However, thi..

The news also caught at least one person's attention outside of Maldives.

@yaamyn (Bangalore, India): What are people doing about the whole MoIA thing???!!!


Pope Benedict begins African mission trip

Per Reuters, Pope Benedict XVI began his first papal visit to Africa on Tuesday, starting in Cameroon. The pope will meet with leaders in Cameroon and Angola, will discuss how to bring peace to Africa, and will uphold the controversial Vatican statement that condoms will not bring an end to the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Many Twitterers reacted negatively to the Pope’s visit, especially on the condom issue. Here’s what they had to say:

@ourman: (Bamenda, Cameroon): So incredibly angry with what the Pope said. All possibilities of any positives out of this trip already gone. Fizzing.

@amykunc: (Unionville, OH): Dear Pope Benedict XVI: Really? Yeah, that is a great solution…yeah...ahhh...ok

@scottdetrow (Harrisburg, PA): Pope Benedict choosing not to deal with reality.

@thinkingpot (London, England): Pope Benedict XVI will get into papers again if he won't stop condemning the condom for aggravating AIDS silly old man

@KDLheartsJDL (Jacksonville, FL): im so glad ive converted to Lutheran... Pope Benedict XVI is a jackass and is retarded. inquire within for more info


Featured TwitPic: St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin

"Yay paddies day!" (Posted by @birdiedesign, Dublin, Ireland, March 17, 2009)


Russia to boost military in 2011

Per RIA Novosti, President Dmitry Medvedev announced on Tuesday that the Russia's Armed Forces will undergo a "comprehensive rearmament" beginning in 2011.

Medvedev said that the world's current military-political state requires the modernization of the Russian military, especially "its strategic nuclear forces," according to the article.

A twitterer in Moscow downplayed the news immediately.

@redexile This is not as scary as seems - - the bulk of the nuclear arsenal is Soviet era and their replacement planned years ago

However, not all in Europe reacted the same way.

@thinkingpot (London, U.K.): Why is Russia up for comprehensive rearmament of military and strategic nuclear forces from 2011? I'm threatened.

@PendragonUK (Portsmouth, U.K.): @JDogg1329 They have been flying them into our airspace (UK) for the last few years. Russia is reminding the world it's a world force.

@Coenen (Zoetermeer, Netherlands): RT @BreakingNewsOn: Reuters: Medvedev said Russia would rearm its military and boost nuclear forces <- Seems Russia is scared of NATO?

One blogger was inspired to immediately write about the news.

@alandavies (Cardiff, Wales): New blog post: Worrying News - Russia to Rearm

The Russian president is active on Twitter (@d_medvedev), though he has not written about this topic recently.